Saturday, November 6, 2010

What's with all the Mama Drama???

Bottle vs Breastfeeding
Cloth vs Disposable
Crazy Organic SAHM Mom vs Tightly Scheduled Working Mom

Tell me I am not the only one that finds it so discouraging to ALL mothers when I come across an article or another specialist telling us the RIGHT way to raise our children. One person says that the only type of milk that should touch your baby's lips before their 1st birthday is breastmilk. Another person says that breastfeeding is a prison that reverts women back to the dark ages. One study says that children of working moms are extremely happy children, another study shows that children of stay at home moms are even happier.

Maybe it's because I'm sort of a contradiction. Some of my parenting beliefs fall right into the attachment/natural parenting category; but I still do plenty of things that are far from the natural parenting concepts. I feel like I don't really fit into any parenting stereotype. I'm not natural enough to be an attached parent and I'm not conventional enough to be considered mainstream.

My labor was not natural. I was induced and gladly accepted the epidural. I breastfed, but we also used formula. I made our own baby food and we eat mainly organic, but I don't freak out when a family member gives my son processed foods. We vaccinate. I loved our sling and I wore my son all the time, but we never once considered co-sleeping. We now use cloth diapers, but we did start out with disposables. I am now a work-at-home mom, but if we hadn't had the daycare drama, I'd probably still be working outside of the home.

My point is, why do women always have to judge each other? I could care less if another woman is making her own baby food or babywearing. What I care about is that she loves her child and is giving her child the best that she can. By now, I'm sure we all know that breastfeeding is best for babies, but it can be very hard for some women. I worked outside of the home until my son was a little over 4 months old and I could pump all day long and still only get anywhere from 4-8 oz. I pumped as much as I could and it just wasn't enough, so we had to supplement with formula. Thankfully, my son easily transitioned from breastmilk to formula and back so I was still able to nurse while I was home.

I think that instead of pointing fingers at each other, maybe we should look into ways to educate each other without all the judgment. Look into educating our doctors about the dangers of inductions and epidurals. Get involved with state agencies to help educate new mothers about the benefits of breastfeeding and where to find help if they need it.

I know there are great resources out there that are already involved in these types of education, but those resources are usually centered in large cities and rarely found in less populated areas. If I had access to this education while I was pregnant, I would've fought the induction and I probably would've tried harder to exclusively breastfeed. Alas, the only nursing help I had was while I was in the hospital by a nurse that was a little bit too touchy for my taste and told me if my son ever bit me while nursing, "just slap his cheek and he'll stop". No, of course, I never did slap my son while he nursed - but that gives you an idea of the sort of education I received.

So, maybe the next time a pregnant friend tells you there's no way she could breastfeed, or cloth diaper, or babywear, or whatever else, instead of breaking out the "Don't you want to do what's best for your baby?", how about saying something like, "Well if you decide to (fill in the blank) let me know, and I'd be happy to help."


  1. Great post. Thanks so much. I always enjoy reading your posts. I agree 100%
    But I must admit I get frustrated at some friends when they have babies an don't even try to breastfeed. They "try" for a day or week or whatever but don't give the full effort of finding the right help.

  2. Thanks Kasey! For myself, if I hadn't had my few friends that breastfed tell me that it's going to hurt for a little bit and then it'll be fine, I'm not sure if I would've kept going because of how completely uncomfortable I was at first. Once I got the hang of it though, it was soooo much easier for me than bottle feeding.

  3. Kasey you are still feeding into this. Whyget frustrated when it is not your baby? There are people who just choose not to BF for many different reasons, and since you do not live their life, stay out of it. I think we all need to be open-minded about everyone else's parenting styles. Do we like to be criticized about our decisions? No. Let people choose what is right for their babies, since they are not yours.

  4. I completely agree with you that moms need to lay off each other, but when the busy working mom style of parenting is hard on the earth (e.g. disposable diapers leave 1 ton of trash in the landfill per year per kid) and the SAHM attachment mom style of parenting can be hard on mom (e.g. you should nurse your baby any time he wants, even 30 times a day), you're bound to get some conflicts and hurt feelings. Preserving the planet for our children; having the right to pursue our own lives the way we see fit--these aren't easy problems to resolve or to ignore. Things must have been easier when the working moms only were in contact with other working moms and the SAHMs hung out with each other in the neighborhood. Now we all butt heads online.

    Laura K. Cowan
    founder of, author of Ecofrugal Baby: How To Save 70% Off Baby's First Year

  5. So true Laura. It is so much easier to get thrown into the mommy wars online. In my experience, people tend to be much more opinionated, and even hurtful, online than in real life. On a positive note, it is also easier to make informed parenting choices with the wealth of information at our fingertips.

    I'm glad you commented because I'm now a blog follower of yours. I haven't found too many places that can combine ecoconsciousness with frugality!

  6. I have a lot of guilt about never breastfeeding any of my boys. I am pregnant right now and will not breastfeed my daugter either. Sometimes I wish I could, but I know it's better that I don't. I take a lot of medications that I need to keep me mentally stable and they are not good for babies and pass through the milk, so for me I think it's easier to look at it in the sense that I am doing what's good for my mental health to be a better mother to them while giving them formula, instead of being nuts and breastfeeding. Even with the situation as it is though I still feel as though I have failed them in some way by never trying or really being able to try. That to me is sad because I should just see my situation for what it is and know that I did the right thing for my children but society will make you feel like you've done something wrong, so I still kind of do :(. Anyway, I agree with all the mamma drama, there is one site in particular I really don't go on anymore at all because THAT'S ALL IT IS. Just bickering and bashing, it's horrible.